At the end of the fifteenth episode of “The Good Doctor” on ABC, Dr. Shaun Murphy is sued for malpractice. His teacher, Dr. Aaron Glassman, sends him as a client to his friend and famous lawyer Janet Stewart. Janet tries to get Shaun to settle the case with his insurance, but Shaun’s research assistant and Janet’s junior, Joni DeGroot, tells him that settling is a moral admission of the malpractice he didn’t do and that he shouldn’t do it. The main characters in ABC’s new legal show, “The Good Lawyer,” are Joni and Janet. This show is a spin-off of the medical drama, “The Good Doctor.” If you want to know if the two lawyers in the show are based on real people, here’s what we know!
Is Joni DeGroot Based on a Real Lawyer?
No, Joni DeGroot isn’t based on a real lawyer. The character was thought up by the creator of “The Good Doctor,” David Shore, and the co-showrunner of the parent show, Liz Friedman. When ABC said they wanted to “expand” the medical drama about a doctor with autism spectrum disorder, Shore and Friedman decided to make “The Good Lawyer.” Even though Shaun has the disorder, the show shows how he becomes one of the best surgeons in the country. In the spin-off series, Shore and Friedman use the foundation of the parent series to show how a person with a different disorder becomes a great lawyer. This set the stage for the creation of Joni, who has obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Even though Joni is not based on a real lawyer with OCD, the character does represent professionals who deal with the disorder, especially lawyers. “I think it’s a great chance to learn more about what people with OCD have to deal with every day. I grew up with OCD, and it was re ally bad. […] Since then, I’ve gotten better, but it’s still a big part of who I am. So, to be a part of something on this scale that represents OCD, I knew early on that I would love to be a part of it, to hopefully show what it’s like to live with OCD in a real and nuanced way. Joni is played by Kennedy McMann, who talked about how her character is like people with OCD.
Even though Joni is a made-up character, she is a lot like the thousands and thousands of people with OCD who have done well in their careers. Even though they have been diagnosed with the disorder, a number of lawyers still do their jobs. The problems Joni has to deal with must be like the ones they have in real life.
Is Janet Stewart Based on a Real Lawyer?
No, Janet Stewart isn’t based on a real lawyer. In the same way that Joni is a different version of Shaun, Janet is a different version of Dr. Aaron Glassman, who is Shaun’s mentor. Like Glassman, Janet is brutally honest. If her mentee doesn’t do what she says, she doesn’t think twice about confronting her. But Janet supports Joni’s efforts to become a “good lawyer,” just like Glassman did for Shaun. In the sixteenth episode of the sixth season of the medical drama, Janet is even charged with contempt of court for helping her mentee make a good case.
The relationship between Janet and Joni is a lot like the one between Glassman and Shaun. When the autistic surgeon’s brother Steve fell from the roof of an abandoned train compartment when they were kids, the autistic surgeon ran to Glassman for help. When Joni was a child and her mother was involved in a case, it was Janet who helped her. Like how Glassman took care of and protected Shaun when he was a child, Janet did the same for Joni. Both of them are willing to go against their fellow board members to help their mentees do well in their careers. In “The Good Lawyer,” we can expect Janet to help Joni become a notable lawyer with her advice.
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